Wellnesia, the synonym for “wellness,” is an online platform that offers spa booking packages at discounted rates and sell beauty products: a much needed mix between e-commerce and daily deals in the Dubai market which hasn’t seen anything like this before.
The Founder of Wellnesia approached us with an ambitious goal. He wanted us to build a very user friendly website with following features:
- a shopping cart to sell wellness and beauty products.
- a booking engine with calendar for spas, beauty salons, and fitness centers.
- a blog to offer free advice to the users.
- a product review area where customers could submit their feedback.
- a forum where users could ask questions, get advice and talk about health & wellness.
- a loyalty program where users get points & discounts on referrals & shopping.
- integration with social networking websites (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest).
- a calendar where users can check the availability of the services & book in advance.
It’s always exciting to build a custom website for client’s specific needs and Wellnesia was one such project which involved many dynamic features with database. From the initial consultation to design, coding and QA, we worked closely with the client under Agile development environment & built the exact application he was looking for: we succeeded. The huge amount of planning and testing means a much longer and more involved process. We knew that careful planning up front would avoid lengthy and costly changes down the line.
Using our project management platform, our project manager discussed client’s business objectives via series of discussions that were visible to all the team members. Once the requirements were clearly understood, we created several milestones & tasks and prepared the Gantt chart with the delivery dates of every milestone. Client liked the way it showed up graphically in a chart and how he could track the progress every day.
From wire-frame to design mock-ups, we reached a consensus on which design would most effectively convey the philosophy and brand that Wellnesia was trying to build. Building a database for products, articles, and a forum (not to mention individual user accounts) is always an interesting challenge, but we focused on keeping data efficient and accurate throughout the system.
Technology used –
– CodeIgniter, an open-source PHP based framework, for building the site
– MySQL for a customer database: tracking customer information and status
– HTML5/CSS3 for clean and cross platform code
– JQuery for faster and improved user interface and provide best user experience
– WordPress for the blog with custom design to match the site’s theme
– “Innovate payment gateway” integrated with the shopping cart to allow payment processing through credit cards, debit cards or bank accounts in Dubai
Wellnesia became an instant hit. Users loved the spa database and the ability to make reservations online. The social aspect was immediately popular. Users loved the design and overall look & feel of the site being a community rather than just a store. Of course the marketplace was popular, as many of the products weren’t available anywhere else. Spas and salons were thrilled to get this kind targeted exposure and the forum and product reviews really brought people together. Wellnesia has been operating for 2 years now and is by far the market leader in this niche.